Every Friday, Off The Record looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for bits of news we missed throughout the week.
• God bless the local TV news. Where else can you find endless chatter about the weather (it’s cold!), “investigations” into the existence of improperly stored meat in low-rent Chinese restaurants, and overheated Milwaukee scare stories designed to strike fear into the hearts of rural and suburban residents statewide? Then there are the “big scoops”—exclusive pieces that can make or break a particular station’s ratings, and can lead to a sweet, sweet Edward R. Murrow Award. For Fox6, that promised land of TV news gold is in sight thanks to its exclusive, highly touted, no-holds-barred, one-on-one interview with…Dustin Diamond.
Yes, after “two months of letters and emails,” Fox6’s Brad Hicks was granted an audience with the dude who played Screech on Saved By The Bell, and who currently faces misdemeanor charges related to an alleged stabbing at a Port Washington bar. So what did Hicks and the former Samuel Powers talk about? Not much, it turns out. In clips from the nearly two-hour (!) interview, Diamond rehashes the pitfalls of growing up in front of millions, apologizes for those whole “sex tape” and “tell-all book” things, and professes his undying love for comedy. Perhaps the biggest bombshell of the interview, however, is when Diamond reveals his two favorite episodes of Saved By The Bell—neither of which are that one where they’re drilling for oil at Bayside and Slater’s pet duck Becky gets stuck in an oil slick.
• In case you’re more curious about that (alleged) stabbing than you are about Diamond’s Celebrity Fit Club stint, the Journal Sentinel has some actual information on the case.
• Speaking of TV ratings, the Milwaukee Bucks’ ratings have jumped a staggering 323 percent this season. The Milwaukee Business Journal has more.
• Step outside and you’re likely to be hit with 14 articles about the “revitalization” of Downtown Milwaukee. But what about other neighborhoods, like historic Downer Avenue? Eh, whatever, the Journal Sentinel reports it’s probably fucked.
• Another blow to the East Side: deliciously offbeat sandwich shop Love Handle is closing its doors March 21. The Milwaukee Business Journal notes that owners Chris and Ally Benedyk plan to “head back to Indiana to start on new projects.”
• After six years of being dicked around by the City of Milwaukee and subsequently suing the City of Milwaukee, Silk Exotic kinda-sorta won its battle to open a downtown gentlemen’s club. According to the Journal Sentinel, a federal jury awarded Silk owner Jon Ferraro and his partners a nifty $435,500 sum for their troubles.
• The Milwaukee Business Journal reminds us that a new and (hopefully) improved Trocadero is opening soon. The former Lowlands restaurant was sold to the Red Lion restaurant group late last year. A new menu that “refocuses on a French bistro theme” is expected.
• Do you love big, ugly, generic apartment complexes? Do you hate the now-empty Faust Music building as you drive into Bay View on Kinnickinnic Avenue? Then you’re in luck, because Urban Milwaukee reports that the now-empty Faust Music building may be razed to make room for a big, ugly, generic apartment complex!
• Milwaukee Magazine chatted with former Milwaukee mayor John Norquist about the streetcar (OH GOD THE STREETCAR) and the insanity of expanding the city’s freeways. Best line: “And then with the Zoo Interchange and the Marquette Interchange, you’re talking altogether over $3 billion being spent that won’t add any value to the city whatsoever. It’s just about moving vehicles so Schneider Trucking can drive to Gary, Ind., a little faster from Green Bay.”
• And yes, here’s that video of Ald. Bob “This Stall Is Taken, Mr. Donovan” Donovan getting schooled by a woman on just how much weed is in a joint, and the fact that people don’t smoke joints—“they smoke blunts.” Priceless.